Tag Archives: Malnourished

TX Woman Indicted For Endangering Child

.jpg photo of woman arrested due to toddlers malnourishment
Breanna Morris

Indicted:  4th Suspect in Child Abuse Case

ABILENE, TX  –  A fourth suspect has been indicted in connection to a baby who was found malnourished and “in danger of dying” at an Abilene home in January.

Breanna Morris was indicted for Endangering a Child by Omission on Thursday.  Her roommate Justin Heiser was indicted on the same charge in April.

Both charges are connected to a child that lived in their home.  The child’s parents, Evangelia and James Mayhall, were both indicted on a 1st Degree Injury to a Child charge in May.

Court documents say Heiser, a resident inside a home on the 200 block of Chapel Hill Drive, called 9-1-1 on January 4, 2016, to report a baby, 4.5 months, was not breathing.

“Emergency responders stated that when they entered the home, the smell of feces and urine was very strong and they observed feces rubbed into the carpet throughout the house,” the documents read.

All four adults and a six-year-old child also live in the home.

The baby was obviously malnourished and dehydrated, according to the documents.

She weighed only 6 lbs, 5 oz when she was removed from the home and taken to the emergency room.  The physician who assisted in her birth says she weighed 6 lbs, 15 oz when she was born.

The emergency room physician did say the child was “in danger of dying at the time of her admission to the hospital,” according to the documents.

Abilene Police interviewed Morris and Heiser, and the documents say both admitted to noticing the child was losing weight – Morris claims she confronted the child’s mother, and Heiser claims he didn’t think the weight loss was a problem because the child has high metabolism and the mother had just switched to formula from breastfeeding.

The Mayhalls were arrested on February 18, 2016.  Morris and Heiser were taken into custody shortly after when KTAB and KRBC News asked the public for help locating the suspects.

Police say the children were released into CPS custody when the initial incident was reported on January 4, 2016.

Alabama Child Malnourished And Abused

.jpg photo of mother accused of Child Abuse
Charity Nicole Jackson

Vinemont woman charged with felony child abuse

Cullman County Sheriff’s Office investigators have charged a 32-year-old woman with aggravated child abuse.

Charity Nicole Jackson, of Vinemont, was arrested late last week.

The alleged victim, who is under the age of 12, was taken to an out-of-town hospital where signs of child abuse were discovered by the attending physician.  Physicians noticed that the victim was malnourished, had bruises, cuts on her head and ears as well as other wounds.

Due to the graphic nature of the crime and the crime involving a minor child, a statement from the sheriff’s office said only limited details could be released concerning the child’s injuries.

“It breaks my heart to see a child being harmed but it also infuriates me at the same time,” said Sheriff Matt Gentry.  “I would also like to thank our investigators and those who assisted them in this case.”

CCSO investigators worked in cooperation with the Department of Human Resources and the Child Advocacy Center.

Jackson is being held in the Cullman County Detention Center with a $30,000 cash bond. 


.jpg photo of Child Abuse cases in the news
Why would anyone hurt a Child?

Pediatrician:  ‘Asking why is sometimes futile’ about Child Abuse

“Latest cases involve allegations of withholding food, other abuse”

SAN ANTONIO, TX  –  After a string of high-profile child-abuse cases and deaths, a San Antonio doctor who specialized in child-abuse cases said, at times, it is futile to ask why.

As one of only 200 pediatricians in the nation specializing in child-abuse cases, Dr. Natalie Kissoon said the Center for Miracles at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio has seen cases of withholding food coupled with other forms of abuse and neglect.

“Asking the question ‘Why?’ is sometimes futile,” Kissoon said.  “It’s very hard to understand the motive of someone who has hurt a child.”

The latest high-profile case in Bexar County involves the death of a 7-month-old infant two days before Christmas.  The baby weighed only 10 lbs., just three pounds more than when he was born.

His parents, Marquita Johnson and Qwalion Busby, were arrested Wednesday, and remain in the Bexar County Jail under $100,000 bonds, charged with injury to a child – serious bodily injury by omission.

“They knew they were killing that child slowly.  They’re guilty.  They didn’t do enough to get that baby help,” said Lori Ann Gonzales, a volunteer with the child advocacy group, Eagles Flight Advocacy and Outreach.

Gonzales also is the mother of a special-needs child.

Kissoon said nutrition is vital in the first two years of life when the brain can triple in size.

She said without it, there’s a risk of failure to grow as the child should, developmental delays and cognitive impairment.

But others are able to recover, she said.

Much like last month’s case in which two of eight children were restrained in the backyard of a northeast Bexar County duplex, Kissoon said, “You might have children singled out from the family.”

In court testimony Wednesday, a foster mother testified those two children now constantly want food.

The child advocacy volunteer said she’s even seen children “hoarding food.”

“Anywhere they see food, they’ll grab that food and they will hide it and take it with them,” Gonzales said.

Threats Made Against Parents Of Malnourished Daughter

EVERGREEN, Colo. — Threats have been made against the Evergreen couple accused of starving their six-year-old daughter, law enforcement sources told FOX31 Denver.

Jason Barton, 40, and Katie Barton, 36, face child abuse resulting in serious bodily harm.

Their daughter weighed just 25 pounds when the couple brought her to Children’s Hospital on June 10.

The parents admitted taking their daughter out of kindergarten and placing locks on their refrigerator to keep their oldest child from eating.

Neighbors have the same questions investigators did, why?

The couple’s three children, were placed in protective custody.

Investigators said only the oldest, a 6-year old showed signs of abuse. She had the weight of a 2-year old, 25-pounds, skin pockmarked with dents from malnutrition.

A neighbor Vance Bristow called the girl’s condition heartbreaking.

“You just can’t explain things like that people do things that are beyond any kind of logical explanation,” Bristow said.

Jason and Katie Barton were released from jail after each posted a $25,000 bond.

Their address has been redacted from the arrest affidavit for their own protection.

Prosecutors don’t want an outraged community knowing exactly where the couple lives in the mountain town of Evergreen.

“It’s not unusual in a case that has facts that really grabs the public’s attention for my office to receive communication from the public expressing their interest in the case and expressing opinions as to what should happen and that has happened in this case,” said Peter Weir, District Attorney for the First judicial district.

Detectives said the parents admit keeping locks on their refrigerator and pantry to keep their six-year-old from eating.

“I know she’s significantly malnourished, I think the affidavit indicates that she has the development of a 2-year-old,” DA Weir said.

On a Facebook post from 2013, a friend of Katie’s writes about the six-year-old, “She is so tiny. Feed her a cheeseburger. Lol.”

But, it’s no joke anymore. Doctors compared the girl to a concentration camp victim, a girl who told investigators she was forced to run laps in her driveway for taking food without permission.

The girl “was not allowed to have any birthday cake while the other children were allowed to eat cake,” according to the affidavit.

The report goes on to state medical staff observing the mom, “Katie was drinking chocolate milk in front of the 6-year old and apparently ‘taunted’ her by showing her the full carton of milk and then drinking it.”

“I’m glad that somebody found out. That’s the main thing that this little girl can now be helped,” Bristow said.

The affidavit also states the girl was forced to sleep in a sleeping bag in her parent’s bathroom. At one point her father admitted to detectives that he and his wife were quote “jackasses” for denying their daughter food.

The couple is due back in court on July 21.

AZ Parents Face Child Abuse Charges After 3-year-old Dies

DCS confirms they took custody of Alexandra when she was born after her mom tested positive for amphetamines

Phoenix, AZ – He denied abusing his 3-year-old daughter, but police say he locked her up in a bedroom and forced her to wear a dog collar.

She weighed all of 15 pounds, her body was covered in bruises, and still he says he didn’t do it.

Carlos Cruz says he would be crazy to beat or kill his 3-year-old little girl Alexandra, but admits he and his wife Rosemary Velazco didn’t take Alexandra to the doctor when she got sick this weekend.

He says he was afraid the Department of Child Safety would take his daughter away like they did when she was born in 2011. On Saturday night, the girl’s uncle called 9-1-1.

Police say the girl was malnourished, covered in bruises, with cuts on her head and a broken knee. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Ramon Velazco admits the girl’s weight was a red flag but says he was unable to help.

“I couldn’t really do nothing,” said Ramon Velazco.

DCS confirms they took custody of Alexandra when she was born after her mom tested positive for amphetamines. Months later a judge gave her parents custody after taking substance abuse classes. Rosemary declined a jailhouse interview but did have something to say during her first court hearing.

“I understand what you mean right now. I’m in good eyes to you. You don’t have no good eyes. I’m not a good person right now,” said Rosemary Velazco.

DCS says they closed the initial investigation into the couple on July 10, 2012 after the parents completed substance abuse and parent aide classes.

Bond was set Tuesday at $500,000 apiece for 28-year-old Carlos Cruz and 36-year-old Rosemary Velazco.